Thursday, January 13, 2005

Tragedy Strikes

This morning at approximately 0820, a Nigerian police officer was killed in Prizren when his vehicle exploded while he was on his way to work.  BBC reported the incident and have a picture of the officer's vehicle.  You can see little damage to the outside of the vehicle but if you look at the black scorch mark under the vehicle, you can only imagine what it is like inside the vehicle.  You might also notice that the hood (fairly heavy) of the 4Runner is open...indicating the force of the blast.
In an international police force of nearly 3500 officers, the Nigerian contingent has 50 officers in the mission.  The SRSG of UNMIK has expressed his condolences and described the incident as despicable but I have heard little as to the reaction of the local population to this tragedy.  My thought go out to the officer's family and friends.

The details of the incident are still emerging but this is a tragedy that will have deep impacts on Kosovo Albanians' bid for independence.  It is expected that talks on the final status of Kosovo will start this summer but continued instability demonstrates that Kosovo may not be ready for the desired independence they so crave.  In related news, a coalition government has been formed in Kosovo between the pacifist government of Ibrahim Rugova and the political offshoot party of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) headed by Ramush Haradinaj.  The former well-liked Prime Minister Rexhepi is not mentioned so I'm unsure if he has a place in the semi-new government (Rugova's party headed the last coalition government.)  The international reaction to the election of Haradinaj is not exactly positive; truthfully, the Albanians could have picked a less controversial figure to lead them towards showing the UN that the standards are being met than a former KLA commander who may be called to the Hague to answer to the charge of war crimes!  You can read more at the BBC about Haradinaj.